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I wish and I wish

Language: English

I wish and I wish 
And I wish I were 
A golden bee 
In the blue of the air, 
Winging my way 
At the [shut]1 of day 
To the honey-marges 
Of Loch-ciuin-ban; 
Or a little green drake, 
Or a silver swan, 
Floating upon 
The Stream of Aili, 
And I to be swimming 
Gaily, gaily!

I wish and I wish 
And I wish I could be 
A bud on a branch 
Of the red-thorn tree 
That blows at the head 
Of Blanaid's Bed, 
And sheds a petal 
At every breath;
[Or a poppy-flower 
In the scented swath 
That the reapers reap 
In the hills of Easa, 
For sacrifice
To the dread Lúghnasa.]2

I wish and I wish 
It could come to pass
That I would be changed
To a leaf of grass,
Growing green
On Tulach-caoin,
Where Caoimhin and Conn
And Ciaran sleep,
And I to be rooted
Strong and deep
In the hearts of the Three
Who fell in slaughter
For love of Eilit,
The Druid's daughter.

If wishes [had wings]3
I would not stay, 
But [Wine]4 would wile 
My soul away; 
And [Love]5 would creep 
Into my sleep 
As soft as a dream 
At evenfall, 
When the crickets sing 
And the curlews call; 
And 'tis I would wake 
For no new morrow 
On the grey round 
Of this world of sorrow!

R. Quilter sets stanzas 1-2, 4

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Quilter: "mouth"
2 Quilter:

Or a white milestone
On the shining path
That climbs the cairn
And dips the hollow,
Up to the hills
of bright Maghmeala.
3 Quilter: "were fairies"
4 Quilter: "they"
5 Quilter: "peace"

Submitted by Alvin Kho and Ross Klatte


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Text added to the website: 2009-03-19.
Last modified: 2014-07-10 16:52:09
Line count: 56
Word count: 222

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